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A Woman Without a Country: Poems by Eavan…

A Woman Without a Country: Poems

by Eavan Boland

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I am, like Eavan Boland, an Irishwoman of the diaspora—away from home in part because of opportunity, in part because of requirement. Those poems in this collection which deal with displacement, of not knowing where is home any more, resonated with me most strongly. Boland's phrasing doesn't always work for me, but when it does, I wish I had someone sitting next to me to whom I could turn and read snatches aloud because of the sheer rightness of them. The poems in her cycle on women and/in history give me the urge to write essays of my own inspired by them—some in celebration but some in critique, because Boland's view of women's history doesn't entirely accord with my own. I don't know if that's because her take on (Irish) women's history has changed over the years, or if mine now are different after several years spent slogging away at a dissertation on medieval women. It's not that I think Boland too pessimistic, too cynical at times—I write recovery history, but I'm not digging to find the lost Golden Age—but because in some poems (say, "Anonymity") I fear that her representation of the past can obscure the very women she's trying to foreground. Women were constricted, but they were not wholly constrained. Still, these are few poets who write with as much deftness and thought as does Boland—highly recommended. ( )
  siriaeve | Nov 5, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 184777217X, Paperback)

The poems in Eavan Boland's new collection seek out the delicate intersections between generation, identity, and the deep losses inflicted by history on those who can bear them least. Exploring questions of inheritance (from mother to daughter, from generation to generation), the poems look closely at the ways in which we construct one another, and the ways in which - even without country, or settled identity - a legacy of connection and consolation can endure.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:48 -0400)

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